Trumpeter from Decorah, Iowa, who attended Luther College and graduated in 1973 with degrees in music and philosophy. His mentors included Robert Getchell, Charles Geyer, Adolf Herseth, Arnold Jacobs, and William Scarlett.
He relocated to Chicago, Illinois, and worked with the Chicago Brass Ensemble, the Chicago Civic Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the Lyric Opera. In 1982, he joined the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C.
He participated in the Casals Festival in June 1988, performing Francis Poulenc’s “Sonata for Trumpet, Horn and Trombone” at the Performing Arts Center in Santurce, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
In April 1989, he interpreted Johann Nepomuk Hummel’s “Concerto for Trumpet in E flat” at the Washington Street United Methodist Church in Columbia, South Carolina.
He joined fellow brass musicians Milton Stevens and Edwin Thayer and the Virginia Symphony in March 1994 for a rendering of David Ott’s “Brass Concerto”, which was sandwiched between Maurice Ravel’s ballet music from Daphnis and Chloe and Zoltan Kodaly’s “Variations on a Hungarian Folk Song”.
In March 1996, he was the guest soloist of the City of Fairfax Concert Band on Alexander Arutunian’s “Concerto for Trumpet and Symphonic Band”.
He and the rest of the NSO Brass Quintet did a residency in North Dakota in the spring of 2003 which included stops at Beulah Middle School, Bismarck State College, First Presbyterian Church in Bismarck, Kenmare High School, the North Dakota State College of Science, Red River High School and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Grand Forks, and the University of Mary in Bismarck, and West Fargo High School. Their concert program consisted of: “Beale Street Blues” by W.C. Handy; “Fanfare to the Common Cold” by Peter Schickele; “Hallelujah” and “Overture to Berenice” by George Frideric Handel; “Second Suite in F” by Gustav Holst; “Suite from the Monteregian Hills” by Morley Calvert; “Three American Jazz Classics” by Duke Ellington; and, “Variations on a Joke” by Peter Schickele.
On 20th May 2003, the National Symphony Orchestra performed Dmitri Shostakovich’s “Concerto No. 1 in C minor” at the Kennedy Center with Steven playing the trumpet bits and Sam Post at the keys.
Together again: Steven and trombonist Milton Stevens performed in the Joseph and Alma Gildenhorn Recital Hall a the University of Maryland on 13th October 2003.
On 4th February 2005, the Kennedy Center Chamber Players pitted Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Piano Trio in E flat major, Op. 1, No. 1” and Johannes Brahms’ “Sextet No. 1 in B flat major, Op. 18” against Paul Hindemith’s “Sonata for Trumpet and Piano”, with Steven as featured soloist. They played the same program at the Terrace Theater on 13thFebruary 2005.
He was one of several instrumentalists to team up with the Cathedral Choir of Men and Girls and the Washington Ringing Society for an Easter concert at Washington National Cathedral on 27th March 2005. The Resurrection music included: “Allamande and Galliard” by William Brade; “Canzone per Sonare #2” by Giovanni Gabrieli; “Easter Hymn”; “Ellacombe”; “Five Pieces” by Anthony Holborne; “Fortunatus”, “Lux eoi” and “St. Kevin” by Arthur Seymour Sullivan; “March, Chorale, and Fugue” and “Sarabande and Minuet” by Johann Sebastian Bach; “Two Pieces” by Francois Couperin; “Unser Herrscher” by Joachim Neander; and, “Victory” by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina.
On 18th February 2006, he gave a master class in the Cook-DeWitt Center at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. He followed it up with a concert at the Sherman Van Solkema Recital Hall in the Performing Arts Center.
On 9th September 2007, he was at Northern Virginia Community College as a soloist with the Virginia Chamber Orchestra in a performance of the aforementioned Hummel trumpet concerto at Ernst Community Cultural Center in Annandale, Virginia.
He took part in the American Symphony Orchestra’s South Carolina residency on 11th February 2008 by presiding over some master classes at Furman University in Greenville. On 12th February 2008, he and fellow trumpeter Thomas Cupples, tuba player Stephen Dumaine, horn player Martin Hackleman and trombonist Craig Mulcahy appeared at Bundy Auditorium at the University of South Carolina in Lancaster.
They did their Arkansas residency in March 2009, performing at the First Baptist Church in Jonesboro. On 18th September 2009, they performed at the Kirkwood Presbyterian Church in Springfield, Virginia.
Steven was the featured soloist on 24th October 2009 when the McLean Orchestra performed Hector Berlioz’s “Roman Carnival Overture”, Shostakovich’s “Symphony No. 10 in E minor”, and Henri Tomasi’s “Trumpet Concerto” at Oakcrest School in McLean, Virginia.
On 15th April 2010, he returned to his home town to instruct students at Decorah High School and Decorah Middle School and lead a pair of master classes at the Center for Faith and Life and Jenson-Noble Hall of Music at his alma mater.
He was back in the nation’s capital in May 2010 for a trio of NSO concerts conducted by John Adams that include the maestro’s “Dharma at Big Sur” and “Doctor Atomic Symphony”, “Feu d’artifice, Op. 4” by Igor Stravinsky, and “Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes” by Benjamin Britten.
On 10th October 2010, members of the Eclipse Chamber Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra, including soloists Heather Green, William Neil and Jane-Anne Tucker, with Steven on trumpet, performed the allegro from Charles-Marie Widor’s “Organ Symphony No. 5”, “Chaconne in G minor for Violin”, “Concerto for Organ, Strings and Timpani” by Francis Poulenc, “Pie Jesu” by Lili Boulanger, and “Trumpet Concerto No. 1 in F flat” by Johann Wilhelm Hertel at the National Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C.
The NSO Brass Quintet entertained at Georgetown University’s McNeir Hall on 19th November 2010. In February 2011, the NSO honoured its Kentucky residency.
Steven appears on the following recordings: Hallelujah Handel: Selections from Handel Oratorios; Handel: Super Hits; Handel: The Complete Water Music; Music for the Royal Fireworks; Haydn: Trumpet Concerto in E flat; It’s Good to Be the King; Light’s Glittering Morn – A Musical Celebration; and, Melodious Accord.
Paul Hill Chorale recordings
O Come All Ye Faithful (Frederick Oakeley/John Francis Wade)
Arranger – Jackson Berkey
Conductor – Paul Hill
Organist – Sondra Proctor
National Capital Brass and Percussion Ensemble